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Fresh Clashes In Armenian Capital Between Police And Protesters
Ukrainian government forces exchanged gunfire with Russia-backed separatists in the village on Maryinka during the night of July 28. It was the latest breach of the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine.(RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Police in Afghanistan have arrested a provincial cleric who said he had married a six-year-old girl. The mullah from Ghor Province says he married the girl in June, but only because her parents gave her to him as a religious offering. Police said her parents denied this.
"Where are we headed?" That's what a government-backed campaign asks Kyrgyz citizens, with side-by-side photos of women in traditional dress and with their faces covered by niqabs. President Almazbek Atambaev says the campaign intends to push back against the influence of foreign cultures.
President Poroshenko attends event organized by Kyiv Patriarchate, a day after controversial ceremonies backed by Moscow Patriarchate at the same site. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Russian counterterrorism legislation known as the Yarovaya Package has come into force. How will it affect ordinary Russian citizens?
Thousands of Armenians again took to the streets in support of an armed group that has been holed up in a police station since July 17, calling for the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Around 9,000 Orthodox Christians arrived in Kyiv amid tight security, after threats of violence from Ukrainian nationalists. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Gunmen stormed a police station in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, and have kept control of it for the past 10 days amid a tense standoff with security forces. What are they trying to achieve? And why are crowds of supporters marching in the streets? (Margot Buff and RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
There were small protests across Russia at new antiterror legislation which critics say amounts to a further crackdown on rights and freedoms by the Kremlin. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
A gun battle broke out between Armenian security forces and an armed group holed up in a police station, but the 10-day armed standoff continued. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Thousands of people marched in Yerevan in support of opposition gunmen who have occupied a district police station. The protesters marched late on July 25 from the Erebuni district, where the gunmen have been holed up for more than a week, to the center of the Armenian capital.
The 15th annual Sea Breeze naval exercises are underway on the Black Sea. Co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. navies, the drills include personnel from 13 nations including Britain, Turkey, Romania and Georgia.
The threat of violence or condemnation frequently hangs over lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Russia. RFE/RL's Russian Service program, Signs of Life, spoke with Yekaterina, who was born the son of an officer in the Soviet armed forces and now acts as a bodyguard at LGBT events.
Marchers affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church are taking part in a multi-day march to Kyiv that they say is a gesture in support of peace in Ukraine. On July 25, they were confronted by protesters who accuse the Kremlin of using the march to stir up unrest. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Dancers, children, and happy fruit merchants greeted Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov as he officially opened a newly constructed village in early July. Then the president left and the village returned to its previous state: an uninhabited shell in the middle of nowhere.
Hackers have leaked thousands of documents from the U.S. Democratic National Committee. The data dump came on the eve of the party's convention to nominate Hillary Clinton as its presidential candidate. Cybersecurity firms say the attack came from Russia -- possibly under orders from the Kremlin.
People gathered in Pristina to remember the two 14-year-old girls and a 21-year-old man killed by a gunman in Munich. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Thousands of people from Afghanistan’s Hazara minority demonstrated in the capital Kabul on July 23 demanding changes to the route of a planned power line. A suicide attack at the protest killed scores.
Ukrainians bade farewell to a journalist killed by a car bombing on the streets of Kyiv, as police investigations continued. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
A grandmother, a mother, and a two-year-old were laid to rest in Kazakhstan -- all victims of the truck attack in France. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Hundreds joined a protest in central Belgrade, calling on Hungary to open its border to people who wish to seek political asylum in the European Union. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists exchanged mortar and machine-gun fire for two hours, amid a sharp increase in fighting. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Moldovan architecture students have proposed bold new designs for the capital, Chisinau, with the goal of giving the city a recognizable landmark. Whether they have any chance of being built is an open question. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Kostyantyn Beskorovayni, an elected councilor for the Communist Party in the town of Kostyantynivka, says he was held in unlawful detention in various locations by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), from November 2014 until February 2016.
Ukrainian Priest Father Valentin told RFE/RL's Current Time TV of daily beatings from Russia-backed separatists who detained him in November 2014, and held him for 15 months.
Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed rebels have carried out arbitrary detentions and used torture, Tanya Lokshina from Human Rights Watch told RFE/RL.
An RFE/RL team was kicked out of a Turkmen horse fair in the Czech Republic, after attempting to speak to a visiting Turkmen official about crossbreeding of Akhal-Teke horses.
Several hundred Armenian protesters supporting a radical opposition group holding hostages at a police station have clashed with security forces in the capital, Yerevan.
Award-winning Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed when the car he was driving was destroyed by a bomb in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Authorities described Sheremet's death on July 20 as a "skillfully" planned "murder."
A public funeral was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for two police officers who were killed in a shooting attack. A total of six people were killed in the July 18 attack, and several were wounded. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
An eyewitness said Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was already dead when people tried to rescue him from his car that was destroyed by an explosion in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
When the Summer Games open in August, Georgia's shooting team will make Olympic history as the first team with a mother and son competing together. Medalist Nino Salukvadze is taking part in her eighth Olympics, while her son, Tsotne Machavariani, is aiming for gold for the first time.
Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed early on July 20 when the car he was driving exploded in the Ukrainian capital.
Residents in Ukraine's separatist-controlled eastern city of Luhansk staged a fake riot involving hundreds of locals. The exercise on July 19 was organized by a local pro-Russian activist group on the streets of the city.
Police dragged away supporters of an opposition group in Yerevan, as a deadly siege of a police station in the Armenian capital stretched into a second day.
Activists gave a rough reception to Belgrade's mayor and city council chairman who are overseeing a highly controversial waterfront property development project.
In the southern Turkish resort city of Antalya, hundreds of government supporters took to the streets in the early morning hours of July 16 to show their support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid an attempted coup.
Pakistani security forces made a number of arrests during raids searching for narcotics and illegal firearms in the Khyber tribal region. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Ukrainian opposition MPs disrupted a debate by flying a drone in parliament to film alleged voting fraud.
Canada's Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef came to the country as an 11-year-old refugee whose family was fleeing from Taliban militants in Afghanistan. A talented disabled artist from near Kabul, drew Monsef's portrait, and said she was her "idol". Watch the minister's reaction.
In the first ever-visit by a German chancellor to Kyrgyzstan, Angela Merkel praised the country's democracy after talks with President Almazbek Atambaev.
Moscow's relations with Ankara took a dramatic downturn last year when Turkish forces shot down a Russian plane near the Syrian border in November. Russia imposed sanctions and cut off charter flights. But officials have now announced that Turkish vacation packages will be allowed once again.
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Kyrgyzstan, what remains of the once-thriving ethnic German community in the Central Asian republic?
Many hundreds of Afghans lined up in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, to register for assistance to return to their home country. Pakistan has begun tightening restrictions on Afghans living there without documents. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Global celebrity philosopher Slavoj Zizek says that the left has failed to address recent crises in the West with valid alternatives. In an interview with RFE/RL in Ljubljana, the radical left-wing Slovenian said that democratic capitalism is being overtaken by a more authoritarian version.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Canadian troops on July 12 near Lviv, where they are helping to train their Ukrainian counterparts. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Residents of the Serbian capital held a memorial ceremony on July 11, the anniversary of the 1995 massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. Activists held a banner declaring "We will never forget the genocide." (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Thousands of Bosnian Muslims paid their respects to 127 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre whose remains were buried at a memorial near the town.
Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court has begun to review the conviction of an activist widely considered by international groups to be a prisoner of conscience. Azimjan Askarov is serving a life sentence on charges of stiring up ethnic hatred and killing a police officer during deadly clashes in Kyrgyzstan.
Russia has witnessed the revival of Josef Stalin's personality cult in recent years, with new monuments to the Soviet leader reappearing in cities where they were once torn down. In Novosibirsk, residents are collecting signatures to have their own Stalin monument installed in the city center.
Locals and environmentalists say the Russian town of Karabash is one of the most polluted places on Earth. With strong family ties, and few other options, many still remain living there. Speeches and celebrations on Russia's national day stand in stark contrast to the polluted reality on the ground.
With thousands of people visiting Warsaw for the NATO summit, Poland promoted some of its local produce, culture, and military history by blitzing delegates with gift bags.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili told RFE/RL that decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw had enhanced security for his country, the wider Caucasus region, and the world.
Poland's national football (or if you prefer, soccer) stadium has been converted into a giant conference center for NATO's annual summit -- RFE/RL's Stuart Greer takes us on a tour.
Islamic State (IS) militants pose a "problem" for Afghanistan, according to Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. Speaking to RFE/RL's Mustafa Sarwar at the NATO summit in Warsaw, he also said the Afghan armed forces had prevented the Taliban seizing control of the country.
NATO must do more to help Eastern allies like Ukraine and Georgia, according to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius. Speaking to RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak at the NATO summit in Warsaw, he also welcomed the decision to deploy a NATO battalion to his country.
Ramin Mazur is an award-winning photographer born in Moldova to a Ukrainian mother and an Afghan father. Mazur has photographed a region in turmoil, but it's the changing face of his native Moldova that most often captures his lens. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Ukraine is hoping bilateral talks with NATO members at the Warsaw summit will provide it with lethal and non-lethal aid in the face of Russian "escalation" of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze told RFE/RL.
About 5,000 people set off on a 110-kilometer-long march to remember the victims of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. The procession started on Friday, July 8, from the village of Nezuk in eastern Bosnia, and will arrive in Srebrenica on Sunday. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Supporting Afghanistan remains a "vital investment" for NATO, aimed at preventing the country from again becoming a "safe haven for terrorism," according to James Appathurai, the alliance's deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs. (RFE/RL)
RFE/RL's Stuart Greer takes a ride on the media bus to the NATO summit in Warsaw, where security is tight as world leaders gather.
Supporters of two jailed Armenian opposition activists marched in the capital Yerevan. In the demonstration on July 7, they called for the release of two of the original members of the opposition movement Founding Parliament, Jirair Sefilian and Gevorg Safarian. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Several hundred environmental activists in Moscow held a rally to protest the loss of green space in the Russian capital. Campaigners said that the reduction of green spaces in Moscow has accelerated, with the equivalent of about 1,000 soccer pitches lost in recent years.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on July 6. Ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw later this week, Kerry stressed the United States' commitment to supporting Georgia's NATO bid. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Worshipers prayed at the Sultan Mehmet Fatih mosque in Pristina on Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the end of Ramadan. Eid is observed on July 5 or 6 in different countries in the Muslim world. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Aftershocks from Britain’s vote to leave the EU have spread to Eastern Europe. In Hungary, the EU faces another headache – a referendum on whether to reject German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mandatory quota plan that would force Hungary and other EU members to accept refugees. (VOA News)
Groups in Pakistan have called for a ban on toy guns as the Eid al-Fitr holiday approaches. They said that the toys, many of which look realistic, are among the most popular gifts for children on the holiday.
Activists in Kazakhstan have submitted letters calling on the president to halt criminal proceedings against detained protesters. They repeatedly stuffed a letter box for President Nursultan Nazarbaev in the capital Astana on July 1. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
A "clerical ideology" is being forced upon on Russian culture and society, according to performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky.
Former Polish President Lech Walesa calls on NATO to show strength ahead of the Warsaw summit.
A deadly suicide attack targeted a bus carrying police cadets as they headed into Kabul. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Photos, flowers, and candles were placed on Kyiv's Independence Square after a famous opera singer was killed by a sniper in eastern Ukraine. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Afghans at a market in Peshawar, northwest Pakistan, shouted slogans against the Pakistan authorities over the detention of some 2,000 Afghans in recent days. Pakistan has set June 30 as the last day that many Afghan refugees will be able to remain in the country legally. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A boating accident during a storm in mid-June killed 14 young people at a summer camp in the Russian region of Karelia, bordering Finland. As authorities investigate, growing evidence suggests that conditions at the camp were unsafe long before the day of the tragedy. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Protesters in Kyrgyzstan rallied outisde the country's Supreme Court in Bishkek. On June 28, they demanded the scrapping of pardons given to officials who were convicted for deadly attacks on antigovernment demonstrators in 2010. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
An annual NATO-led training exercise has kicked off in western Ukraine near the Polish border.
The 16th edition of the "Rapid Trident" exercise brings together troops from 11 countries, including NATO members such as the United States, Canada, Britain, and Turkey.
Poles living next to Russia welcome NATO's plan to deploy troops in Poland, but they also want to keep trading with Kaliningrad.
Yulia Guseva graduated in journalism but her real passion was martial arts. After winning the Volga region championship in Russia, she moved to the United States. There she won her first local kickboxing championship, and went on to become the WKA U.S. champion and win several world championships.
An angry demonstrator faced off with lawmaker and former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratian in Yerevan during a protest over a controversial defense agreement between the Armenian government and Russia. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Western alliance's defensive response to counter Russia's aggression in Ukraine. In an interview with RFE/RL in the Russian capital on June 27, Ambassador John Tefft said that NATO remains the "most effective alliance man has ever put together."
Pope Francis paid a visit to the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on June 25 on the second day of his visit to Armenia. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Tatyana Lyakhova, a single mother, faces constant harassment, vandalism, and threats from debt collectors demanding repayment of her ex-husband's loans. Stories like hers are increasingly common in Russia, where millions of people have household debt and collectors are largely unregulated.
A resident of the Kazakh capital, Astana, threatened to blow up a gas cylinder in a bid to keep city authorities from evicting him from his house, which is slated for demolition. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Crowds thronged the streets of Karachi for the funeral of Amjad Sabri, one of Pakistan's most famous singers, gunned down in the city the previous day. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Ukrainian positions in the east of the country came under heavy fire from Russia-backed separatists. An RFE/RL correspondent embedded with Ukrainian government troops in Avdiyivka, near the city of Donetsk, captured footage of the attack on the night of June 22. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Ukraine is conducting 10 days of drills simulating an attack from the east in breach of the Minsk agreement with Russia and Russia-backed separatists. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Scuffles broke out between Pakistani lawmakers in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.
Members of the ruling party faced off and had an exchange of harsh words during a debate on the provincial budget on June 21. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Several hundred Afghans demonstrated against Pakistan in Kabul, after deadly border clashes last week escalated tensions between the two countries.
Journalists, media experts, and activists have roundly criticized proposed media legislation in Kyrgyzstan, saying it would limit press freedom. Only one member of parliament attended a roundtable in Bishkek, where participants had a scathing assessment of the bill. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
A day after Germany warned against NATO saber-rattling in Eastern Europe, the alliance began antisubmarine warfare exercises in the Norwegian Sea -- amid concerns about increased Russian submarine activity. (Rikard Jozwiak, Alex Blumberg, Ray Furlong, RFE/RL)
On the streets of Boston, in eastern England, football fans wave Polish flags and restaurants offer Lithuanian specialties. The town is deeply divided by a heated debate over the impact of immigration -- one of the key issues behind a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
The people of Northern Ireland will join the rest of Britain in deciding whether to remain or leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. Some are concerned the currently invisible dividing line between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will “harden” once again.
Antigovernment protesters in Macedonia have escalated their attacks on government buildings and monuments in the latest of nightly demonstrations. On June 20, they pulled out compressors and hoses to spray jets of paint on the Justice Ministry.
Serbian and Croatian leaders have taken part in a series of symbolic gestures in a renewed effort to repair strained relations. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic met Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on June 20.
Five people have been arrested after at least 13 teenagers died when their boats capsized at a lake in Russia's northern Karelia region.
Heavy rains caused rivers to swell, washing out bridges and roads in parts of Kyrgyzstan. In the Issyk-Kul region, the harsh weather caused rock slides in mountainous areas.
A group of Nepalese security guards working for the Canadian embassy in Kabul have been killed in a suicide attack on their minibus. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said 14 guards were killed, and eight others were wounded in the early morning attack on June 20. (RFE/RL's Afghan Service)
The people of Britain will vote in a referendum on June 23 on whether to leave the European Union. Opinion polls show voters split on the issue, but for the trawlermen of one Scottish town which relies heavily on fishing, the EU boat has already sailed.
Bullet wounds, shrapnel, loss of blood -- it's all in a day's work for medical volunteers in Avdiyivka, where a cease-fire between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists often exists in name only.
Ukrainian students were determined to hold their graduation ball in their old school building -- even though it was blasted to pieces in fighting.
In the lead-up to a NATO summit in July in Warsaw, the region hosted one of NATO's largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War.
People in one English city have reacted with disbelief that a member of parliament had been killed in a street attack. Jo Cox, a 41-year-old legislator, was killed in a shooting and stabbing attack in her constituency in northern England.
Georgia's efforts to secure its citizens visa-free travel to the European Union have been hampered by a spate of stories in the German media about a "Georgian crime wave." (Producer: Ray Furlong, Camera: Roman Kupka)
Serbia has welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to Belgrade at a time when China is increasing its economic influence in the Balkan country. Xi is scheduled to sign a series of trade and investment agreements during the three-day visit, which includes a stop at a Chinese-owned steel plant.
The diplomat who oversees U.S. sanctions policy sees European Union leaders still firmly backing measures taken against Russia. Daniel Fried spoke to RFE/RL in Prague after former French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for an end to the sanctions at a Russian economic forum in St. Petersburg.
At least seven people were killed and 49 others were injured as violent storms hit northwest Pakistan. Rain and high winds lashed the town of Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on June 15, causing buildings to shake and roofs to collapse, while power was cut. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Activists from the LGBT community held a candlelit vigil in Pristina, amid homophobic comments in Kosovo after the Orlando mass shooting. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The moment two men were arrested in Moscow while paying respects to the victims of the Orlando massacre.
Transgender people in Pakistan's northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrated their designation as a group eligible for state welfare support.
The provincial government agreed on June 14 to allocate about $2 million for the social welfare of transgender people in its annual budget.
As thousands of NATO troops arrive for military exercises, Lithuania is striving to increase its own defensive capabilities -- in the face of a perceived Russian threat.
Sher Ali Afridi lost a leg as a small boy in Pakistan, but it didn't stop him from becoming a top speed bowler in the national sport, cricket. Now, thanks to the kindness of a Pakistani doctor in London who saw RFE/RL's story, Sher Ali has a new, modern prosthesis -- and he can bowl even faster.
Residents of Georgia's capital enjoyed a day out for free at the city zoo, which is still recovering a year after floods which killed half of its animals. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
The Bosniak member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, honored Serb victims of wartime atrocities committed by Muslims -- paying a wreath on the site where their bodies were dumped. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Welcome to Kabul -- where swanky villas sit empty while shanty towns teem with life.
Ukrainian military aviator Nadia Savchenko has called for "fair and transparent" elections in Ukraine.
Ukrainian military aviator Nadia Savchenko said she would take a lie-detector test to silence critics that have suggested she might be a double agent for Russia.
Exam season in Russia and Central Asia showcases student ingenuity. But not in a good way. This year in Kazakhstan, 7,500 students were caught trying to sneak prohibited devices into classrooms. On YouTube, how-to videos on hiding phones have soared in popularity.
Anti-Putin protester Roman Roslovtsev has been arrested once again for wearing a mask of the Russian President in Red Square. The masked performance artist was continuing his campaign against a law that bans mass protests in Russia. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
Activists in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv clashed with police inside City Hall. Angered by a landfill issue, they attempted to storm into a session of city council on June 9. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
At least three people were reportedly killed and more than a dozen wounded after heavy shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government troops exchanged artillery fire during the night of June 8. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Kazakhstan's former sports minister, Talghat Ermegyaev, was sentenced to 14 years behind bars for taking bribes while organizing an international energy expo. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Veterans of Georgia's 2008 war with Russia are the first foreign nationals to serve officially in the Ukrainian army, following a new law adopted last year. RFE/RL Ukrainian Service producer Levko Stek spoke with them as they prepared for action in eastern Ukraine.
A 23-year-old wrestling mother is one of Moldova's best hopes for a medal at the Olympics in August. For Mariana Esanu-Cherdivara, the road to Rio has been one with some very hard knocks. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
How the life and purchases of an ordinary Russian have changed in the past two years.
In the Moldovan breakaway region of Transdniester, one man's minor dispute with the police spiraled out of control, landing him in prison on charges of extremism. Human rights defenders say that authorities might have fabricated social media posts to convict him -- and that such cases are common.
Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky walked free after more than six months in detention with a warning that political repression in his country was increasing every day -- after receiving a $7,600 fine for setting fire to the main entrance of Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB.
When boxing legend Muhammad Ali is buried on Friday, people around the world will mourn -- RFE/RL asked his fans in Central Asia what he means to them.
Antigovernment protesters in Macedonia clashed with police on June 6 as nightly demonstrations continued despite an apparent conciliatory move from the president. Activists broke through police cordons set near the government's headquarters in Skopje. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
U.S. troops arrived in Latvia as part of what they've called the Dragoon Ride across six NATO countries in eastern Europe. The U.S. Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment said about 1,400 of its soldiers, in 400 vehicles, rolled into the southern Latvian town of Daugavpils.
Although she has been without the use of her arms and hands from birth, Afghan teenager Rubaba learned to draw very well, clenching a pencil in her teeth. She specializes in portraits, and her latest muse is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Bishkek for talks with Kyrgyz leaders and to take part in a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) meeting planned for June 7. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
Rubble and shards of glass are all that remain in the ghost school of Shyrokyne, in eastern Ukraine -- silent witnesses of the battles that were fought there. The village is still too dangerous for its inhabitants to return. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says his country must be patient in order to achieve its major foreign policy goals of joining NATO and the European Union.
Lawmakers in Belgrade on June 3 attended the first session of parliament following elections in April. Among them was nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj, who returned to politics this year after being acquitted by the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Mohammad Hassan was homeless in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. So he built a home for himself in a large banyan tree on a city sidewalk, and has lived there for 18 years. (Muhammad Imran, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
It's been two years since the start of the battle for Donetsk airport between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists. Today, one family still living within view of the destroyed airport scratches out a living without utilities, jobs, or any guarantee of safety.
Fire destroyed a fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of Islamabad. Dozens of makeshift stalls went up in flames on the night of June 1, leaving very little the next day but ashes. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A Kazakh activist who protested against the government's land reforms has been released from detention. Twenty-one-year-old Moldir Adylova was met by her family and supporters as she left jail in Almaty on June 2.
The U.S. 2nd Cavalry Regiment is making a "tactical march" from Germany to Estonia -- where 10,000 NATO troops will hold drills aimed at sending a clear message to the Kremlin.
After a cold winter in Russia and Ukraine, worn-out water mains are feeling the strain of rapid temperature changes -- and some pipes can't take the heat. With spring comes the start of "geyser season" as bursting pipes smash windows and throw cars in the air. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Islamabad and other cities were scattered with felled trees on June 2, after a deadly storm tore through the Pakistani capital the evening before. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Iraqi Kurdish forces have liberated nine villages from Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq's Nineveh region. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and tanks moved into the village of Bashiqa on May 31, as part of an operation to retake IS territory around Mosul.
Kids from Stary Terek, in Russia's Daghestan region, have a tough time getting to school, which is 18 kilometers away. The sole school bus doesn't reach their remote village, so they have to walk, hitchhike, or take a taxi every day.
Iranian women have been pushing back against official repression for many years. Now, social media has provided them with a platform where they can expand their fight against the compulsory hijab and other discriminatory laws.
About 400 migrants and refugees in Serbia made use of a new assistance center in Belgrade, called “Miksalište”, on June 1. A previous site with the same name was demolished in April to make way for a controversial waterfront development. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Kosovo marked International Children's Day with a wide range of activities on the public squares of the capital, Pristina, including a mass reading session. Georgia also celebrated the day with a festival in a park in the capital Tbilisi. (RFE/RL's Balkan and Georgian services)
Macedonian antigovernment demonstrations took a new turn on June 1. After weeks of nightly paint bomb protests, activists decided to halt traffic in the center of Skopje during business hours.
They blocked major intersections with cars and other vehicles. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
A Chechen man has issued a public apology to the republic's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, after he had earlier asked for Vladimir Putin's help in reining corruption in his village. That complaint led to death threats and the destruction of his house.
A new wave of house demolitions has been filmed taking place in Ashgabat, a year after 15,000 buildings were knocked down in the Turkmen capital. (RFE/RL's Turkmen Service)
Opposition activists in Kazakhstan raised the plight of people detained in recent protests. Hundreds were arrested during demonstrations on May 21. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Thousands of people took to the streets in defense of media freedom in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad, after a string of dismissals at a public TV station. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
A search was underway for three rescue workers who disappeared after a massive mound of garbage collapsed during a blaze at a landfill near Lviv, in western Ukraine.
Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian military aviator who spent almost two years in Russian custody before she returned home last week, has taken her seat as a member of parliament. In her first parliamentary speech, she told lawmakers that the country is more important than anyone's life.
Abdul Hakim and his disabled daughter are just two of Afghanistan's 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), whose fate is raised in a new report by Amnesty International. The rights group says the number of IDPs has more than doubled in the last three years.
A series of blasts in and near Baghdad killed more than 20 people and injured many more. The attacks came as Iraqi Army forces, supported by militia groups, launched an assault on Islamic State militants in Fallujah. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Iraqi forces traded fire with Islamic State militants in the city of Al-Karmah, some 16 kilometers northeast of Fallujah, on May 28. Iraqi troops have been battling to retake Fallujah from the militant group since the start of a major offensive on May 23.
A U.S. military convoy has set off from Germany on a 2,400 kilometer "tactical march" to join exercises in the Baltic states. The convoy passes through the Czech Republic and Poland as part of efforts to reassure NATO's eastern members in the face of a perceived threat from Russia.
Pakistanis gathered to mourn a transgender person who was shot and killed in the northern city of Peshawar. The person, named Alisha, was shot eight times by unidentified gunmen on May 21 and died in a Peshawar hospital on May 25. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Police have destroyed a large cache of illegal drugs in Tajikistan. On May 27, the head of the country's drug enforcement agency helped incinerate over 370 kilograms of narcotics, including more than 16 kilograms of heroin. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian airwoman who was released this week after being jailed in Russia for nearly two years, has said she would consider running for president if her fellow Ukrainians want her to. At a press conference in Kyiv on May 27, Savchenko also spoke harshly of Vladimir Putin.
Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia is hosting a World Cup in soccer -- but it's not the tournament that the world knows well. It's the championship of Conifa, a league made up of autonomous regions, stateless peoples, and others outsiders of international football. (Amos Chapple, RFE/RL)
RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova says she will keep fighting to clear her name and to support the work of her colleagues in Azerbaijan. She was held on a series of charges which international observers said were retribution for her investigative reporting on Azerbaijan's ruling family.
RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova, released from an Azerbaijani prison on May 25, said she was able to remain optimistic in custody, despite her ordeal.
After nearly two years of imprisonment, Nadia Savchenko was released by Russia on May 25 in a prisoner exchange. Savchenko's defiance behind bars helped make her a hero for many Ukrainians. People on the streets of Kyiv weighed in on what migh await her.
RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been released from prison in Azerbaijan after serving around 18 months -- her conviction was widely seen as politically motivated. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Ukraine's Nadia Savchenko vowed to fight for the release of other prisoners still held by Russia.
After nearly two years in Russian jails, Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko was released in a prisoner swap on and returned to her homeland. Her ordeal lasted 708 days – many of which she spent on hunger strike -- and was punctuated by acts of defiance against the Kremlin and Russian courts.
Freed Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko said she was prepared to continue fighting for her country. After nearly two years of imprisonment, she was released by Russia on May 25 in a prisoner exchange.
RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been released from an Azerbaijani prison. She had already been jailed for 537 days on what press-freedom groups and international lawyers called politically-motivated charges. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Macedonia's parliament was the latest target for antigovernment protesters, as some were later called in for police questioning. On May 24, Several used toy water guns to spray paint on the gates of parliament and other government buildings, in what activists call their "Colorful Revolution."
Jailed Journalist Khadija Ismayilova gets words of support ahead of 40th birthday.
Taliban militants marked the announcement of their new leader with a deadly suicide attack in Kabul. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
General Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO's Military Committee, says Russia equates liberal democracy with weakness and only respects power. In an interview with RFE/RL in Brussels on May 24, the Czech general said that the alliance must be ready to act when necessary. (RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak)
General Petr Pavel, the chairman of NATO's Military Committee, says the alliance's planned buildup on its eastern flank is a response to Russian military actions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria. The Czech general spoke with RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak on May 24 in Brussels.
A Georgian unit joins NATO's rapid response force at the close of military exercises, hailed by the country's defense minister as a ''huge step'' closer towards the alliance. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
The authorities in Kyrgyzstan have a new tactic in the fight against Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamist group that is banned in Kyrgyzstan. Over the last year, a number of people have appeared on TV -- apparently renouncing their membership of the group.
Volunteers provided food, clothes, and shoes to refugees in central Belgrade -- amid indications that people smugglers are finding routes around the fences constructed to stop them. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Protesters said the dismissals of journalists at a public TV broadcaster in northern Serbia were politically motivated, following electoral gains by the country's governing party. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Macedonians made puppet effigies of politicians they want prosecuted for alleged wiretapping, and put them behind bars -- as nightly protests continued in Skopje. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
There is outrage in France over a Russian state television report that apparently manipulated interviews and footage in a report about a wave of French labor protests.
Tajik authorities said constitutional amendments that allow President Emomali Rahmon to strengthen his grip on power have been approved in a referendum.
Video given to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal shows a car, allegedly used by slain Taliban leader Mullah Akthar Mansur, in flames. Mansur was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's Balochistan Province on May 21. The video also shows a passport allegedly used by Mansur, under a false name.
Gay-rights activists in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, clashed with a counterdemonstration of Orthodox Christian and traditional-family activists. Police said they were forced to stop the march due to security concerns, and the LGBT march participants were bused away for their own safety.
Russia has placed new restrictions on foreign-made drugs provided through state-funded health care. Officials have pledged that equivalent drugs produced in Russia will be made available. But some patients with serious illnesses have suddenly lost access to life-saving medications.
Amid a crackdown on protests against changes to Kazakhstan's Land Code, police in Oral detained RFE/RL correspondent Sanat Urnaliev on May 21. He was released after being held for eight hours. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Kazakh security forces detained hundreds of journalists, activists, and demonstrators in a number of cities amid a call by the opposition for nationwide demonstrations against changes to Kazakhstan's Land Code. Crowds scattered in Almaty as police moved in to make arrests. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
With smoke bombs and drums, some 3,000 members of Ukraine’s nationalist Azov Civilian Corps marched through the capital, Kyiv. In a show of force, members of the far-right group lit flares outside the parliament building.
The northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar continues to struggle with an infestation of rats. The problem has become so bad that a hospital has opened a special ward to deal with rat bites, with over 350 cases reported in May alone. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Thanks to all your votes, our video about Nurgazy — and his arduous journey to school — won a Webby award. He went to the United States to receive the prize. His message? Everyone can dream and win.
Presidential elections are taking place in Austria on May 22, with anti-immigration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer leading in opinion polls. The Freedom Party has been on a surge since the refugee crisis of 2015, which Hofer has called a “Muslim invasion.”
A statue of Josef Stalin has reappeared in the Czech capital. It's the set for a film now in production about the sculptor who created a massive monument to the Soviet dictator, but committed suicide before its unveiling in 1955. The sculpture was destroyed in 1962.
Pakistanis struggled to stay cool as temperatures rose above 45 degrees Celsius. Officials warned the early heatwave could lead to rapid melting of glaciers in the mountainous Kashmir region. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Kyrgyzstan's national public broadcaster defended programming that featured lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. It came as protesters marched on May 19 to denounced media coverage of the LGBT communities. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
Macedonia's embattled government canceled early parliamentary elections scheduled for June 5. It came as protests in the capital, Skopje, continued on May 18. For more than a month demonstrators have been demanding the resignation of the country's President. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Ukrainians gathered in Kyiv on the evening of May 18 to commemorate the mass deportation of Tatars from Crimea in 1944. Some 200,000 people from the minority group were sent to Central Asia on the orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
A man who asked for Russian President Vladimir Putin's help against corrupt local officials, said he has no plans to return to Chechnya.
Students at Kyiv's National University marked the anniversary of the 1944 mass deportation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. While in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, artists commemorated the anniversary. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Day eight of the joint NATO-Georgian military exercise known as "Noble Partner" featured live tank drills. At the Vaziani military base near Tbilisi on May 18, Georgian troops in Soviet-era T-72 tanks trained alongside their NATO counterparts in U.S. Abrams tanks. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Two Azerbaijani activists who daubed graffiti on a statue of former President Heidar Aliyev face up to 12 years in prison on ''trumped up" drugs charges.
Two blasts in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar killed one police officer and wounded 18 other people. The wounded included other police officers, rescue workers, and members of the media. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Tajik farmers in Farkhor, near the border with Afghanistan, said on May 18 that they had lost hundreds of hectares of wheat, watermelon, vegetables and other crops, due to an infestation of locusts. They said that the government had not provided funds to fight the pests as in past years.
Iran has arrested eight people and is investigating scores of models, bloggers, designers, and others in a crackdown on social media related to the fashion industry. Some of the detainees are reportedly women who posed online without the mandatory head scarf.
The parents of Jamala, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, said their daughter's victory has unified Crimean Tatars. The Ukrainian performer won the competition with her song 1944, about the deportation of 240,000 Crimean Tatars by Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
Antigovernment protesters in Macedonia escalated their demonstrations in Skopje. On May 17, they used a giant slingshot to target the government headquarters with paint bombs, in the latest of nightly protests. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The 10th World Congress of Families has started in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, bringing together Christian activists from around the world. The WCF was founded in the United States with the aim of protecting what organizers call "the natural family based on a marriage between a man and a woman."
Ukrainian Eurovision winner Jamala said her song was more about music and feelings than politics, speaking at a post-victory news conference in Kyiv.
In Sarajevo and Pristina, activists marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Kosovo's President Hashim Thaçi marched with LGBT support groups, as did the U.S. and British ambassadors, and a vice president of the European Parliament. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Sheltered by rugged mountains and treacherous roads, Pakistan's ancient pagan Kalash tribe celebrates spring. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
The Afghan capital, Kabul, was flooded by tens of thousands of protesters from the country's Shi'ite Hazara minority. They are outraged that a major power project won't be going through the province of Bamiyan. (RFE/RL's Afghan Service)
Eurovision winner Jamala returned to a hero's welcome at Kyiv airport. Jamala's song, 1944, told the story of the deportations of Crimean Tatars under Stalin -- and was widely seen as a comment on Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and subsequent repression of Crimean Tatars.
Ukraine's Jamala, a 32-year-old Crimean Tatar, says her winning performance at the Eurovision Song Contest was inspired by the soundtrack of the film, Schindler's List. She also previewed a new song at her post-contest news conference in Stockholm. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Thousands of people demonstrated in Banja Luka, calling for the president of the Bosnian Serb entity, Milorad Dodik, and the government, to resign due to the poor economic situation and widespread corruption. Meanwhile, thousands of Dodik supporters rallied elsewhere in the city.
Ukraine's Eurovision entry has reached the finals with a song about the suffering of Crimean Tatars forcibly deported under Josef Stalin. But seen through the prism of Russian state media, the song has a very different meaning.
The chief of RFE/RL's Krym.Realii or Crimea Realities, says Russian authorities have unblocked access to the news website.
The website's chief, Volodymyr Prytula, said in Kyiv on May 13 that no content was removed before the ban was lifted. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
The Soviet Union briefly fielded its own song contest as a counterweight to Eurovision. Will Intervision ever take the stage again?
Thousands of antigovernment protesters in Macedonia marched near the home of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. On May 12, activists threw paint bombs at a portrait of Gruevski with the word "Mafia." It was the latest in four weeks of nightly demonstrations in Skopje. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
It was the bloodiest day in recent Uzbek history, but what actually happened in Andijon?
Living in Ahwaz, Iran, Mohammed Asadi feared he’d be sent by his government to fight in Syria’s civil war. He learned English by watching movies and set off on an arduous three-month journey to Europe. This is the story of Asadi’s journey.
Some 860 Georgian troops are serving in Afghanistan -- the largest foreign force in the country after the United States. But military leaders believe the strong contribution to security efforts in Afghanistan strengthens Georgia's bid for eventual NATO membership.
Ukrainian Eurovision contestant Jamala said her song about Josef Stalin's deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 was all the more relevant following more searches of homes and detentions of Tatars on the Russian-occupied peninsula on May 12.
Russians, Ukrainians, Americans, and others waged brutal but mostly bloodless war at the "Battle of the Nations" in Prague. The tournament pits teams of warriors against each other in medieval-era hand-to-hand combat.
Leaders of four countries launched a major power transmission project in Tajikistan that aims to supply energy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They used golden wrenches to tighten bolts on a transmission tower about 70 kilometers west of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Heavy rains triggered floods in the suburbs of Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe on May 12. Residents watched helplessly as the rising waters submerged roads, fields, and houses. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Pro-Russian authorities in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula have blocked access to RFE/RL's news website, Krym.Realii or Crimea Realities.
The website's chief, Volodymyr Prytula, said in Kyiv that there are ways for readers to get around the ban.
(RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Representing Ukraine, Jamala is the first-ever Crimean Tatar singer to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest. Titled 1944, her song is about Josef Stalin's deportation of Crimean Tatars to Central Asia.
Once a year, in a dusty Georgian village, hundreds of players battle it out for possession of an 18 kilo ball...
More than 60 people were killed in a suicide bombing in a crowded outdoor market in Baghdad. A pickup truck packed with explosives went off on May 11. Two other bombings during the day killed at least 25 more. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attacks. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Joint military exercises with U.S., British, and Georgian troops have begun near Tbilisi. The formal opening ceremony on May 11 included a mass air drop of paratroopers. The exercises, named "Noble Partner 2016", are being held through May 26. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
The son of a former Pakistani prime minister has left Afghanistan after being held by Al-Qaeda militants for three years. Ali Haider Gilani, the son of ex-premier Yusuf Raza Gilani, was freed in a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. commandos near the border with Pakistan on May 10.
Ukraine's youngest motorcyclist is only 3 ½ years old. Tima Kuleshov's parents hope that one day he can take his show on the road and compete abroad.
Jamala, the Crimean Tatar singer representing Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, is set to perform her song 1944 at the semifinals on May 12. The song, with lyrics in English and Crimean Tatar, is about Josef Stalin's deportation of Crimean Tatars to Central Asia.
This springwater in Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan, catches fire at the strike of a match. But locals still drink it, in addition to using it as cooking fuel or a home remedy.
The Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, begins a two-day visit to Tajikistan as a major hydroelectric project is due to launch. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
London-based Tanya Wells has learned songs from around the world, in multiple languages, just by ear. Her recent Facebook version of an Urdu classic has won her a huge fan following in Pakistan.
Parades were held, flags waved, and Stalin celebrated -- as the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II was marked across the former Soviet Union.
A pro-Kremlin biker club, Night Wolves, arrived in Prague on May 7 to a jeering crowd that included Czechs, Russians, and Ukrainians. Activists from Open Russia, founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, covered the event. They included the perspective of a Russian television reporter alongside their own.
A Victory Day parade in Donetsk by Russia-backed separatists featuring tanks, artillery, and rocket systems may violate the Minsk peace agreement, according to the OSCE. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Some of the pioneers of the Soviet breakdance scene during perestroika show off their moves three decades later.
Pakistani human rights activist Khurram Zaki, a vocal critic of Islamic extremism, was laid to rest after being gunned down in Karachi. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A massive battle was under way in the Czech capital, Prague, as warriors wielded swords and battle axes in an imitation of medieval hand-to-hand combat. The competition, called "The Battle of the Nations," was founded in Ukraine and pits national teams against each other. (Margot Buff and Melanie Ba
Performance artist Roman Roslovtsev has inspired others to protest against Russian laws restricting public demonstrations by wearing a mask of President Vladimir Putin. But on May 5, he was met by police as he exited the metro station near Red Square, before he could even attempt to protest.
Macedonia's ''Colorful Revolution'' protests continued, with opposition supporters marking the fifth anniversary of a police killing that they say the authorities sought to cover up.
Even as hundreds of thousands of Syrians in Turkey dream of a life further west, some are happy -- and thriving -- right where they are.
The people of Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine have been surrounded by fighting for two years now. With Russia-backed separatists and government troops trading fire just kilometers away, locals do their best to carry on with their daily lives. (Olga Kalinichenko, RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Protesters took to the streets of Kabul to demand the death sentence for Taliban prisoners, following a deadly attack in the Afghan capital last month. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Since exploding onto the cage fighting circuit eight months ago, Zamzagul Fayzollanova has won every one of her bouts. The 23-year-old is Kazakhstan's first female mixed-martial-arts fighter, and has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Moldovan and U.S. troops began military exercises at a base near the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, aimed at strengthening inter-operability between the two countries' armed forces.
Near the Ukrainian village of Klevan, a humble train has created a tree tunnel that draws visitors from around the world.
The remains of up to 1,000 victims of a 1995 massacre have yet to be found in the hills around the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. For nearly 17 years, one man has devoted his life to locating the bones of those who died in Europe's worst mass killing since World War II. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Once a year, hundreds of people in a small Georgian village spend the afternoon pushing, biting, and grappling with each other. Their goal is to move a 16-kilogram ball across one of the streams that flow at each end of the main street. This is the unique game of Lelo.
At least 1,000 people protested in Skopje in the latest nightly demonstration after President Gjorge Ivanov pardoned politicians implicated in a corruption and wiretapping scandal. Protesters, who have dubbed the movement the "Colorful Revolution," threw paint at the city's criminal court.
Demonstrators gathered in the western Kazakh city of Oral to protest against plans to sell off publicly owned farmland beginning on July 1. Protests against the privatization plans have been spreading across Kazakhstan for two weeks. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
In an interview with RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak, EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn discussed prospects for further EU enlargement in the context of the current refugee crisis. Hahn said EU members must renew their commitment to solidarity.
EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn spoke with RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak in Prague on May 3. Discussing prospects for visa liberalization with the EU's eastern neighbors, Hahn said that Turkey is not receiving special fast-track treatment.
On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders honored imprisoned Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi at an event in Paris.
Security was tight as large crowds gathered in the Pakistani city of Bannu for a visit by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. People flooded the city center to learn about his government's plans to develop the region. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Struggling poultry farmers in Iran are in a flap over rising production costs, and they are demanding financial help from the government. Amateur video shot on May 2 showed farmers protesting outside the offices of the Iranian president. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda. Amateur video)
Protests in Kazakhstan against the planned privatization of agricultural land spread to other cities, as the president warned of the consequences of social unrest. Protesters in the city of Kyzylorda confronted local officials at a theater on May 1.
Forty-year-old Uzbek-born gymnast Oksana Chusovitina has qualified for a record seventh Olympics.
New boundaries have been marked along the dividing line with Georgia’s Russian-occupied breakaway region of South Ossetia, cutting off people on the Georgian side from their farmland, orchards, and neighbors. European Union monitors call the process “borderization,” and say it’s illegal.
Meet Ruslan. For eight years he’s been running his truck up the frozen rivers of the Sakha Republic to supply remote villages with much-needed goods. Every trip is “a different adventure,” and the dangers of Siberia’s ice roads are very real.
Thousands of Macedonians have spent weeks protesting against the government in a movement being dubbed the "Colorful Revolution." What caused all the fuss?
Activists from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists defaced a Soviet-era monument dedicated to KGB officers in Kyiv. Members of the far-right group tried but failed to chisel off the nose of one face on April 28. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Despite massive economic problems and alleged corruption, Putin remains wildly popular with rank-and-file Russians.
Police in Almaty, Kazakhstan shut down a news conference called by activists who were discussing plans for protests in the city. About a dozen activists were detained when police intervened on April 29 outside Almaty's Press Club. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
More people gathered in Kazakhstan to protest against a government decision to privatize agricultural land. In the coastal town of Aktau on the Caspian Sea, police intervened and forced people to leave. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Kyrgyzstan has opened a new maximum security prison in the capital, Bishkek. It took about nine years to complete. The government demanded an acceleration in construction after a prison break at an older nearby facility last October. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatist forces traded accusations about responsibility for a deadly shelling of civilians on a roadway near Donestsk. Local authorities reported at least five people died near a checkpoint in the separatist-controlled area.
Protests were held in two Kazakh cities against a government decision to privatize agricultural land. At the rare public demonstrations in Kazakhstan, speakers called for the land to be kept in public hands and not rented to foreigners.
A site in Belgrade that provided help to migrants and refugees has been demolished as part of a $3 billion waterfront development. Some of the refugees in the Serbian capital witnessed the dismantling of "Miksaliste" site by construction workers, who were accompanied by police.
Activists in Minsk protested against the ongoing construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Protesters used the annual "Path of Chernobyl" demonstration on April 26 to speak out against the plant being built in Astravets.
Thousands marched again in the center of Skopje on April 26, with some setting fire to pictures of President Gjorge Ivanov. The protesters are calling this a "colorful revolution," and again some of them hurled paint at government buildings -- this time the justice ministry.
Protesters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, demanded that suspect war criminals in the country face justice. They called for the abolition of an amnesty law that prevents the prosecution of alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan in recent decades. (RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan)
Chernobyl is known as the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster. But the Ukrainian town has a much deeper meaning for a New Yorker named Yitz Twersky. He recounts his family history, which originated in what he calls "the seat of the Twersky Jewish dynasty." (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
More than 100 Georgian troops returned home from Afghanistan. They were commended for saving several U.S. airmen during their seven-month tour of duty.
In 1986, radioactive dust clouds from an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant reached Norway. The resulting contamination has lingered for decades. Sami reindeer-herdsmen and their herds in Snasa are still tested regularly for dangerous radiation levels.
Farmers in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region are facing the perils of planting spring crops in a conflict zone. After two years of war, thousands of mines and unexploded shells lurk beneath the soil. Before sowing their fields, local farmers must first rely on deminers to ensure their land is safe.
On April 26, 1986, a routine safety test at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine spiraled out of control. Follow the dramatic events that led to the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster.
Hollywood star and human rights activist George Clooney joined the commemoration of the massacre of Armenians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. With Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian he laid flowers in front of the eternal flame at the country's genocide memorial complex.
In the Kazakh city of Atyrau, around 1,000 people staged a rare public protest to denounce a government decision to sell land in auctions.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and other political leaders marked their ballots in parliamentary elections on April 24. Vucic asked Serbian voters to endorse his drive toward the European Union while maintaining close ties with Russia. (RFE/RL’s Balkan Service)
Serbians went to the polls on April 24 in early parliamentary elections to vote members of the country’s National Assembly. More than 6.7 million registered voters were also choosing councilors in local elections. (RFE/RL’s Balkan Service)
On April 23, thousands of Armenians commemorated the 101st anniversary of the beginning of mass killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. The march started in the evening at Yerevan's Republic Square and ended at the capital's memorial complex. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, firefighters remain on high alert to prevent radioactive forest fires.
Local elections set for April 24 in the wealthy Moscow suburb of Barvikha have been canceled amid reports of widespread voter fraud. The decision came shortly after the new head of the Russian Election Commission took office.
About 1,500 troops from Tajikistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia took part in a four-day military training exercise near Dushanbe. Collective Security Treaty Organization forces drilled against possible threats by Islamic State militants. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Vasyl Sokirenko is an ex-cop who chose to retire to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Now he tends to his plot of land -- beekeeping and growing vegetables. He’s one of a small group of “resettlers” who value the peace offered by life in the zone more than the threat of radiation.
Performance artist Roman Roslovtsev returned to Red Square to stage his latest masked protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin and a law on public gatherings. This time he was joined by a second protester. They were both arrested. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
Thousands of protesters in Skopje gathered for an eighth straight night of antigovernment demonstrations on April 20. Again they threw paint and sprayed graffiti and slogans -- some saying that they were staging a "colorful revolution" in Macedonia. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Nurgazy's heartwarming story went viral. Now, he has the chance to win at the prestigious Webby awards.
Thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, not many people still live in the areas of Belarus most affected by the fallout. A hardy few remain in the Krasnapolle district in the country's east. RFE/RL Belarus Service recorded some of their stories.
Gas prices in Kyrgyzstan have ballooned in the past year. But Kenzhekul Zhumashev found an original way to deal with high costs -- he started producing homemade biogas.
Centuries after William Shakespeare wrote them, his plays are performed in a multitude of languages. To mark 400 years since Shakespeare's death on April 23, 1616, actors from the Balkans to Central Asia performed Hamlet's famous soliloquy for RFE/RL.
Emergency workers who responded to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 30 years ago returned to the scene of the event that changed their lives forever. Known as "liquidators," they shared stories of their experiences and their struggles for official recognition and compensation.
Stand up for your rights. Or lie down. Or get naked. When you need more than words to be heard.
Military intelligence units from five member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) gathered for training exercises in Tajikistan. (RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Health officials in Pakistan hope to vaccinate nearly 2 million children over three days in a new drive to combat polio. In the past, campaigns have been suspended because health workers were targeted by Taliban militants. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Shi'ite militia fighters, backed by Iraqi government forces, battled Islamic State militants around Al-Bashir in Kirkuk Province on April 15. The town, with a mostly Turkoman population, was one of the only Shi'ite areas in Iraq under the rule of the militants. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Flash flooding has hit western and southwestern Iran following days of torrential spring rainfall. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Islamic State militants have lost their hold on the northern Iraqi village of al-Nasr. After a 10 day battle, Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters liberated the village. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
They are kids whose faces are blackened by coal dust. Child labor is illegal in Afghanistan, but in the Nahrin district of northern Baghlan Province, children are performing dangerous and backbreaking work as coal miners. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, Mustafa Sarwar, Zhakfar Ahmadi, Bashir Ahmad Ghazali)
Moscow traffic is rated among the worst in the world.
Some drivers will do anything to get ahead -- even driving on the sidewalk or along tram lines. With traffic police apparently not coping, activists are taking matters into their own hands using nothing more than video cameras and the Internet.
On April 14, President Vladimir Putin will answer select questions from the public on live TV. Will these Russians get their answers?
Rotting garbage has been piling up this week on the streets of Bannu in northern Pakistan. Municipal garbage collectors have stopped gathering the trash until they are paid their salaries.
They say they haven't been paid for four months. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
When Abdul Qadir Mujrim's arms were seriously injured in a work accident, he seized the chance to transform his life. His village in Pakistan's Balochistan Province had no school, so Mujrim created one. At the same time, he turned his love of poetry into another career as a writer.
Dmytro Hodzenko was killed one day before he was due to be discharged from service in the Ukrainian army. He was on the front line to the very end.
Cease-fire violations are on the rise in eastern Ukrainian. Russia-backed separatists have shelled government positions near the city of Avdiyivka.
A strict all-female boarding school in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, has one primary objective: to prepare Muslim girls to marry Muslim men. There are no boys or mobile phones around, but there are more girls trying to get in than the school can handle.
Yosif Stalin Kim Roane has lived a lifetime named after one of history's bloodiest dictators. Now in his eighties, he recalls the forgotten history of African-Americans who went to live in the Soviet Union. (Current Time/VOA)
Roads and sidewalks in Siberian cities in Russia look like a battlefield. Snow is disappearing with the arrival of spring, but so is the pavement in many places. RFE/RL’s Current Time TV reporters Sergey Chudinov and Marina Myshko report from four cities on just how difficult it is to get around.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariev announced his resignation, but insisted he was innocent of corruption allegations made by one of his own ministers.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Yerevan to pay respect to ethnic Armenians killed in recent fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Amid the recent flare-up in the Nagorno-Karabakh fighting, we asked people in
Yerevan and Baku what they thought about each other.
Opposition protesters tried to disrupt the inauguration ceremony of Kosovo's newly elected president, Hashim Thaci, by throwing a tear gas. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
It’s that time of year when Turkmenistan rolls out its program for the Month of Health and Happiness campaign. Government employees, school children, and students are ordered to engage in physical exercise under the threat of losing their jobs.
Moscow police have once again arrested anti-Putin protester Roman Roslovtsev.
Yosif Stalin Kim Roane has lived a lifetime named after one of history's bloodiest dictators. Now in his eighties, he recalls the forgotten history of African-Americans who went to live in the Soviet Union. (Current Time TV/VOA)
A Lithuanian-speaking Afghan caused a sensation on YouTube last week in Lithuania, when he posted a video asking the president to give him asylum. On April 6, he arrived in Vilnius, hoping to begin a new life in the country.
In Russia, criticizing the president can lead to criminal charges. Russian authorities have launched a hate-crime investigation against regional lawmaker Olga Li after she published a YouTube video accusing President Vladimir Putin of a "criminal conspiracy" against the Russian people.
Ceremonies were held in Bishkek as, for the first time, Kyrgyzstan marked the anniversary of its 2010 revolution with a national holiday.
Dutch voters rejected the European Union's Association Agreement with Ukraine in a nonbinding referendum on April 6. A day later on the streets of Kyiv, many Ukrainians were not surprised by the rejection and lamented the state of their own country. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
The Russian Foreign Minister praised the cease-fire between Azerbaijani and Armenian-backed separatist forces, as the two sides continued to accuse each other of breaking it.
Hundreds of Pakistani women have been scarred and disfigured by attackers throwing acid. The effects can be devastating -- but a beauty salon in Lahore is offering survivors job training, employment, and a path to independence and confidence. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
How did Icelanders and Russians react to their respective officials being implicated in the Panama Papers scandal?
The massive data leak from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca indicated that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's wife and daughters have been secret shareholders in offshore companies with a multimillion-dollar property portfolio. The news has barely made a ripple on the streets of Baku.
More than 2,000 people have fled areas near Mosul, where Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are attempting to dislodge Islamic State militants.
There were scenes of devastation in the village of Talish, in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, following rocket attacks that reportedly took place before a cease-fire was declared.
An RFE/RL camera in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh captured what could be the first use of an Israeli-made "kamikaze" drone in combat on April 4. (RFE/RL Armenian Service cameraman Karen Chilingaryan)
Several hundred pensioners gathered in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, to call on politicians to do more to help the elderly. They said recent cuts in state pensions have led some to the brink of starvation. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
A cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenian-backed separatists was reported to have held overnight from April 4-5 in the disputed region. On April 6, Azerbaijan alleged that Armenia broke the ceasefire, but this could not be independently confirmed.
People in Sarajevo celebrated on April 6 the anniversary of the city's liberation from Nazi occupation in 1945. They were able to drink coffee from what is claimed to be the largest coffee pot in the world, holding some 650 liters of the beverage. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The Netherlands is holding a referendum on whether Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union should be ratified -- the political fallout from a "No" result could put pressure on the Dutch government to rescind its ratification.
The major investigative report called the Panama Papers claims to have exposed the fortunes held in offshore accounts by a number of high-profile Russian figures. One of the central players is Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist and a close friend of President Vladimir Putin.
Here are some major figures and parties who have been implicated by The Panama Papers.
Dozens have died since new fighting flared on April 2 in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan. But the conflict has been simmering for decades. (RFE/RL, with Reuters video)
What do Muscovites think about the massive financial data breach called "The Panama Papers." The leak implicates Russian President Vladimir Putin in a money sheltering scheme, but Current Time TV correspondent Vadim Kondakov had a hard time finding people who have heard the news.
The southern Iraqi port of Basra was hit by a suicide car bomber, as Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for bombings across the country.
Farman Ali from Pakistan's restive Swat Valley lost his hands when a suicide bomber struck in 2008. His wife has also been very ill, and the family has been desperate. But thanks to the kindness of strangers, the parents are now getting medical treatments, and their boys have hope for the future.
Torrential rains caused flooding that claimed dozens of lives in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province.
The Ukrainian foreign minister joined campaigning in Amsterdam, days before the Dutch vote in a referendum on whether Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union should be ratified.
The defendants made their final statements in a trial relating to the 2010 revolt that toppled Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev.
Armenian troops fired shells from the town of Martakert in Nagorno-Karabakh on April 3, the second day of fighting in the disputed region. The forces traded fire with Azerbaijani troops on the opposite side of the line of control less than three kilometers away. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian addressed the National Security Council in Yerevan on April 2 after fighting erupted in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan. Sarkisian said that 18 Armenian soldiers had been killed and 30 wounded in the fighting.
An unremarkable building in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, conceals a secret: an underground prison where opponents of the Soviet regime were held and interrogated. The site was abandoned long ago, and few Moldovans know about the abuses committed there during the communist era.
A court in Baku sentenced five defendants to prison for beating to death a journalist last August after the victim had criticized a professional soccer player on social media. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
How civilian doctors in Ukraine juggle care for military, civilians and animals.
Residents of Baku posted videos of flooded streets and cars filling up with water after a rainstorm. The city's sewer system seemed unable to handle the deluge. (RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service)
AFP reporter Maher Al Mounes was one of the first journalists to enter Palmyra on March 27. Embedded with the Syrian Army, this is what he saw shortly after the ancient Syrian city was recaptured from Islamic State militants on March 27.
Only 10 people remain in the village of Syze, about three kilometers from territory held by Russia-backed separatists near Luhansk. The locals have a nickname for a hometown that they see as forgotten and useless: "The Appendix." (Andriy Dubchak, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service)
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.
In Kyrgyzstan's Naryn region, hundreds of miners toil underground in brutal cold in search of tiny quantities of gold. Their mine is one of many operating illegally in the region, without safety regulations or guaranteed pay.
Swedish photographer Magnus Wennman met migrants across Europe. His photos show where, and under what conditions, children in these dire circumstances sleep.
Supporters of executed assassin Mumtaz Qadri riot in Islamabad.
Frustrated with corruption and economic turmoil, thousands of Moldovans marched through the streets of Chisinau on March 27 to demand their country be reunited with Romania. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
More than 200 Syrian refugees remain trapped on Macedonia's border with Serbia after the closing of the so-called "Balkan route". For more than 20 days, they have lived in small camping tents, in cold, wet, and muddy conditions.
Music and laughter can be heard pouring out of an orphanage in Kabul. In a country torn apart by three decades of war, Andeisha Farid is trying to nurture a new generation in Afghanistan with education, culture, and joy. (Wali Sabawoon, Tamim Ahgar, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Many survivors of Bosnia's 1992-95 war have reacted with disappointment to a UN court verdict against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of war crimes and genocide on March 24. The court ruled Karadzic was criminally responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered. But the families of the victims say Karadzic should have been given a harsher sentence. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service, ICTY Video, TV Liberty)
Turkmen state television this week broadcast footage of smiling officials receiving a special gift from the president: a copy of his 35th book, a treatise on tea.
Four laborers became the latest casualties in Pakistan, where two weeks of heavy rain has led to around 80 deaths. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
It's that time of year again... Hindus in Pakistan have been throwing colored powder at each other to celebrate Holi. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Belgians, including a Muslim cleric and a local artist, give their thoughts a day after suspected Islamic extremists killed at least 31 people in suicide bombings in Brussels. They were speaking at a community gathering to honor the dead in the center of Brussels.
A student dormitory has been named after Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic -- just as the UN war crimes tribunal prepares to reach its verdict in the war crimes trial where he faces charges of genocide, rape, and murder.
The French government recently tried to close the so-called "Jungle" by offering alternative accommodation to those still waiting in vain for entry into Britain. It hasn't worked.
Relatives of Heorhiy Gongadze say questions still need to be answered about who ordered his killing and why, 16 years after his headless corpse was found in a wood near Kyiv.
Thousands of people are stranded in Idomeni, Greece, at a makeshift camp by the Macedonian border, now closed to migrants. Among the residents are Afghan citizens who have little chance of receiving asylum in Europe. As they wait in limbo, they contend with dire conditions and food shortages.
Journalists in Kosovo protested after allegations the country's prime minister threatened one of their colleagues -- for breaking the story about his brother claiming asylum in Germany. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Some Moscow residents are furious about plans to build a new highway through their neighborhood. They've tried to block the construction, but have been pushed aside by plain-clothed security men to make way for the bulldozers. Welcome to the urban planning process, Moscow-style.
Members of an association of Bosnian war victims departed for The Hague, where the UN war crimes tribunal is due to deliver its verdict in the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on Thursday.
There's a new subject on the syllabus at some schools and colleges in the Czech Republic: how to identify Kremlin propaganda.
Artak Gevorgian calls it street art. But to authorities, it's hooliganism.
Large crowds took part in festivities in Afghanistan's capital to mark Norouz, the new year on the Persian calendar. Participants in the celebrations raised a prayer pole symbolizing the seventh-century Caliph Ali at the Karte Sakhi mosque. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Members of the Crimean Tatar community marched in the Czech capital, Prague, on March 19 to mark the second anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The Crimean Tatar minority has been strongly critical of the annexation.
Emergency workers searched through the remains of a passenger plane that crashed while trying to land in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don early on March 19. All 62 people on board the plane were killed. Grieving relatives were gathered at the airport near the crash site. (Reuters)
Three security personnel were injured, one seriously, in an attack on a check point in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi. The March 18 attack with a small homemade explosive was the third of its type on the paramilitary Ranger Force in the city since last week.
A city in Ukraine bid good riddance to the country's largest remaining statue of Vladimir Lenin.
It took a crane to lift the 20 meter-tall, 40-ton statue of the Soviet leader from its pedestal in the city of Zaporizhzhya. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Azerbaijanis are getting ready for Norouz, the New Year's holiday that coincides with the beginning of spring. But many people are worried about how rising prices will impact their family celebrations. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Just before Norouz, the Persian New Year, residents of Kabul shared their hopes for peace in the coming year -- and their sadness over insecurity, poverty, and the emigration of loved ones. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Two years after the release of Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova from jail, what remains of Pussy Riot?
Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters reportedly have been preparing for an offensive to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. On March 16, the soldiers took part in training about 40 kilometers from the city. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Dancers from two celebrated groups -- Ukraine's Virsky Ensemble and Georgia's Rustavi Ensemble -- are touring Ukrainian cities with an acrobatic dance showdown. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
A human rights group in Kabul staged a reenactment of the brutal beating of Farkhunda Malikzada, who was killed by an angry mob one year ago. The 27-year-old student of Islamic law was pummeled to death and her body was burned after she was falsely accused of destroying a copy of the Koran.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told RFE/RL in Brussels that Kyiv has completed the reforms needed to move forward on implementing visa-free travel to the European Union.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the EU to move forward with proposed sanctions on Russia over the imprisonment of Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko. Poroshenko told RFE/RL in Brussels that Savchenko's continued detention in Russia is a "brutal violation of international law."
Supporters of artists arrested at a recent antiwar protest in Moscow staged an open air creative meeting. On March 16, members of the "No Peace" movement sketched and painted outside the court house where hearings on their fellow artists were taking place. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived in Belgrade on March 16 as part of their six-day tour of the Balkans. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and other officials received the couple at the capital's airport. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
People in Tajikistan are looking forward to Norouz -- the Persian New Year -- and everything that the holiday season brings, from family celebrations to booming business. RFE/RL's Tajik Service asked residents of Dushanbe what the holiday, celebrated on March 21, means to them.
At least 15 people were killed and more than 20 injured in an explosion on a bus in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. Police said that a bomb had been planted on a bus carrying provincial civil service workers. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A few dozen refugees and other migrants were sent to the Vinojug camp in Macedonia after hundreds fled an overcrowded Greek camp and forded a river to cross the border. Police detained hundreds of people and sent the majority back to Greece. (RFE/RL's Macedonian Unit)
Rival protests were continuing in Tbilisi on March 15 over a candidate for the chancellor of Tbilisi University who has ties to former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Model Alexandra Kutas is trying to forge a career in a demanding industry. She's had an unlikely path to the runways of New York. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
Medical facilities were overrun with patients a day after a reported chemical weapons attack by Islamic State militants on the Iraqi town of Taza. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)
Turmoil continued at Tbilisi University, as rival groups of students clashed on the campus. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Noreen Jabbar's estranged ex-husband threw acid in her face two years ago. Like hundreds of Pakistani women who have endured similar attacks, she suffered disfiguring scars. But Noreen and many other victims of violence have received medical care and job training, all thanks to a local entrepreneur.
This is the social media fantasy peddled by Assad’s regime.
Aleksei Retivykh is on the rescue crew at the Kazakh ski resort Chimbulak, near Almaty. At the age of 11, Aleksei lost a leg, but he found the strength to become an expert skier after that.
Today, he's well known not only at the resort but also on social networks in Kazakhstan.
The campus of Tbilisi University was in turmoil, as protesting students prevented the election of a new senate chancellor. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
The decision to close borders to migrants across the Balkans has not only stranded tens of thousands in Greece -- in northern Macedonia, hundreds of Afghans are unable to cross the border into Serbia. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
We spoke to residents of Moria, a small Greek village that has found itself the unlikely host of tens of thousands of migrants passing through on their way to Europe. What do they think of what’s going on in their backyard?
In Tajikistan, some men say they've been detained for having long beards and forced to shave. Tajik police deny that they've targeted beard-wearers, but they are keeping close watch for what they believe to be potential signs of extremism -- even facial hair.
Some migrants and refugees who have been stranded for more than a week on Greece's border with Macedonia, have decided to go to Athens instead. Buses arrived to take the migrants to the Greek capital for 25 euros each, getting them away from the dire conditions in the makeshift border camps.
Kazakhstan has relocated hundreds of people from a village near one of the world's largest oil and gas fields, but authorities continue to deny it has anything to do with mass fainting incidents. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Hard-line Serbian nationalist leader and war-crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj defied the Hague tribunal with a public appearance in Belgrade. Surrounded by supporters, he held up burning EU and NATO flags on the steps of a courthouse in the Serbian capital. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
U.S. Senator John McCain says Syria and the flood of refugees among biggest crises faced by the West since World War II.
Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia have closed their borders to migrants along a major land route toward the EU. But in the Afghan capital, Kabul, many young people are still preparing to leave for Europe, a decision they say is born out of desperation. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
The Macedonian side of the border zone with Greece remained empty on March 9, after the government in Skopje closed entry to any refugees and migrants. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Protests were staged in Ukrainian cities to show support for pilot Nadia Savchenko, whose trial on murder charges was concluding in Russia. A Russian flag taken from the consulate in Lviv was set alight, while protesters pelted the Russian embassy in Kyiv with eggs. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko refused to recognize the authority of the Russian court where she is on trial for murder. In her final statement to the court, she jumped up on her bench and made an obscene gesture. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
The dream of many Pakistani kids is to play cricket for the national team. Sher Ali Afridi lost a leg when he was a small boy, but it didn't stop him from excelling at the sport he loves. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
It's an everyday struggle being a woman in South Asia, but these women have taken their lives into their own hands -- and are thriving.
Three Iraqis stuck at a camp in the Greek town of Idomeni on Macedonia's border reacted with dismay to a possible deal on migrants between the European Union and Turkey. The draft agreement envisions a plan that would send thousands of migrants in Greece back to Turkey. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Around 100 female recruits are training at a camp near Lviv to become full-time members of the Ukrainian Army. They don't know whether their unit will be sent into combat, but these soldiers are already winning their first battle -- proving that they have the same skill as their male counterparts.
The big cleanup was under way after floods in Novi Pazar, in southwest Serbia. As the water receded, it left a trail of mud and destruction. Two bridges were swept away and 100 houses inundated. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The mothers of schoolchildren killed in a 2014 Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar are petitioning for a full judicial inquiry -- citing dissatisfaction with the government-run investigation. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Kyiv to demand that Russia release detained Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.
Twenty-six years after opening its first branch in Moscow, the U.S. fast-food chain has flipped its first burgers in Central Asia. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
U.S. foreign affairs writer Robert Kaplan says Russia would see the oft-mooted reunification of Romania and Moldova as a cause for war. Kaplan was speaking to RFE/RL following the release of his latest book, In Europe's Shadow, a history of Romania.
Pakistan's top female squash player wants to defeat discrimination against women.
At least 12 people were killed, and more than 20 were injured, in a suicide attack outside a court building in northwestern Pakistan. There was heavy damage at the scene in the town of Shabqadar, including the charred remains of at least two vehicles. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Thousands of people rallied in Kyiv's Independence Square on March 6 to demand Russia release Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Twelve-year-old Nurbek and his friends scour a landfill near Bishkek, collecting metal from the garbage. Some have even quit school to support their families
The Azerbaijani capital, Baku, is preparing to host its first Formula 1 Grand Prix in June. The race route runs through parts of the city's historic center, where some cobbled streets have been covered in fresh asphalt. Some residents fear the Old City's character has been harmed in the process.
Dawn in the migrant camps on the Greek border with Macedonia saw groups of people huddled around fires and bailing out their tents. Around 10,000 are stranded after Macedonia reduced the daily flow of people across the border to a trickle. (Reuters)
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
Floor and her designer-friend Didi now teach incoming refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos how to turn inflatable dinghies into bags they can use to continue their journey to Europe.
More than 10,000 refugees and migrants remained stuck on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia, in increasingly dire conditions. Hundreds took part in a demonstration in the town of Idomeni, at one point blocking a freight train from traveling into Greece. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The authorities in Tajikistan have denied launching a clampdown on beards -- despite numerous reports from men that they have been forced to shave by police. The reports come amid increasing concerns about Islamic extremism in the Central Asian country.
What do some Ukrainians make of proposals to rename Kyiv's Moscow Avenue after the controversial World War II-era nationalist leader, Stepan Bandera?
A deadly suicide attack targeted the diplomatic district in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. An explosives-filled vehicle was detonated outside the entrance to the Indian consulate compound at midday on March 2. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
U.S. Army General John W. "Mick" Nicholson took over command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Nicholson succeeds General John F. Campbell, who oversaw the end of the international combat mission in 2014 and an escalation in the insurgency by Taliban militants. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
Macedonia's interior minister received a first-hand view of the migrant crisis in his country, which has started to strictly limit the number of people passing through. Oliver Spasovski joined visiting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his interior minister, Robert Kalinak, to have a look.
Migrants continue to arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos, but most are now unable to leave -- threatening to turn the island into an overcrowded holding pen. Ferries to Athens have been halted, as the rest of the Balkans is blocked by fences and other restrictions.
Blind girls in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province say they are victims of discrimination by being denied access to secondary education.
Every day, Kenesh Shorukov wakes up before dawn and rides his horse across the rugged terrain of northern Kyrgyzstan. His goal: to get to class on time and set a positive example for his students. (Ulanbek Egizbaev and Ulan Asanaliev, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
Crowds of migrants tried to storm through the border from Greece to Macedonia on February 29, tearing down a gate before Macedonian security forces responded with tear gas.
Eleven-year-old Yahya's parents sold him to people-smugglers in Afghanistan for around $10,000. His captors then turned him over to the Taliban, who trained him to be a suicide bomber. Yahya had the courage to escape, but there are many other children like him who fall into traffickers' clutches.
Ukraine wants to build a wall along its border with Russia to protect the country from a potential Russian attack.
More than 300 people gathered in central Minsk, to protest new rules for non-food market stalls.
The February 28 rally was held to protest a new regulation that small private businesses should obtain certificates guaranteeing the quality of their products and also show proof of origin.
Protests erupted in Pakistan after the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, a police officer who gunned down the liberal governor of Punjab Province in 2011. In Islamabad, dozens of protesters blocked the main road leading to Rawalpindi. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Macedonian police fired tear gas as migrants stormed a fence on the border between Greece and Macedonia. Police launched several rounds of tear gas into the crowds who tore open a metal gate as they tried to break through. (Reuters)
There were protests in Pakistan as it was announced that the country's most notorious death row prisoner had been executed. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Thousands of people marched in Moscow in honor of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov on the first anniversary of his murder. Marchers chanted slogans including "Russia without Putin!" and "Putin is a disgrace to Russia."
Georgians rallied in the capital, Tbilisi, to show their support for striking miners. Activists have set up booths to raise money for the miners, who were in 13th day of their walkout in the western city of Tkibuli. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Kosovo's parliament looked set to vote on the election of Hashim Thaci, the current foreign minister and former guerrilla leader, as the next president. The possible election of Thaci has sparked protests in the capital Pristina. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
13-year-old Aichurek Sulaimanova is the sole breadwinner for her family in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Aichurek collects plastic bags after school to provide for her disabled mother and younger brother.
Artyom Chaika is a wealthy businessman and the son of Russia's prosecutor-general, Yury Chaika. In a documentary released by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, he's accused of getting rich through corrupt family dealings. An activist confronted Artyom Chaika to press him for a response
Two Pakistani girls, aged eight and six, sold bread to keep their family after a suicide blast killed their father. But now there's hope for a better future. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
On February 27, 2014, Russian troops wearing uniforms without insignia took control of the main government buildings in Crimea. RFE/RL's Anna Sous interviewed 12 former post-Soviet leaders and seven gave her their views on the events surrounding Crimea's annexation by Russia.
A five-year-old Afghan boy has received two signed jerseys from Lionel Messi after his homemade tribute made the young fan a darling of the Internet. Murtaza Akhmadi sparked an international media hunt after a photo of him wearing a Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag.
As countries across the Balkans prevent migrants crossing their frontiers, large numbers of people are finding themselves stuck at various border crossings. At the Macedonian transit camp in Tabanovce, just south of the Serbian border, hundreds of people are stranded. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Afghanistan took delivery of 10,000 automatic rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition as a gift from Russia. A Russian military transport plane made the delivery to Kabul's airport on February 24. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Syrian combatants might be on the verge of a truce -- but until the deal goes into action, civilians continue to suffer the worst of the fighting. In Turkey's border region, hospitals and officials are struggling to cope with an influx of wounded and desperate people.
A protest by about 1,000 Georgian miners grew violent as the workers demanded better pay and improved working conditions. Some broke into the grounds of the GIG Group mining company in the city of Tkibuli on the 11th day of their strike.
The commission that oversees Islamic schools in Kyrgyzstan has begun a process that is expected to force most of the headmasters out of their jobs. The Religious Certification Commission has required that teachers and headmasters at the country's madrasahs appear before an formal assessment panel.
The bodies of two kidnapped Serbian Embassy staff members have been repatriated from Libya.
The two were reported killed along with dozens of others on February 19 by U.S. air strikes on a suspected Islamic State training camp where they were being held in Libya. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Ukraine is attempting to build a barrier along the whole of its 2,000 kilometer land border with Russia, to hinder a potential attack. "Project Wall" is ambitious and, so far, only partially constructed. RFE/RL's Current Time TV went to take a look.
As owners of small businesses demonstrated against new government regulations in the Belarusian capital, a fleet of snow plows drove up close by, setting off scuffles with the protesters. (RFE/RL's Belarusian Service)
A college teacher in southern Kazakhstan was recorded soliciting bribes from her students. Confronted about it afterwards, the teacher said she only charges slackers.
A Russian TV report about a 13-year-old Russian girl being raped by migrants in Berlin provoked a diplomatic storm and led to protests across Germany -- before it was shown to be completely untrue.
At an overcrowded Syrian refugee camp on the border with Turkey, children talk about the horrors they have escaped from.
Artists in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar gathered to demand more support from the provincial government. They said that authorities from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province had excluded "deserving artists" from their financial assistance program. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Right-wing Ukrainian nationalists attacked a branch of privately-held Alfa-Bank in Kyiv on February 20. It was just one of a series of attacks on Russian banks in the capital, as well as Lviv and Mariupol. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
With Syrian government forces advancing on the city of Aleppo, thousands of people have been fleeing north towards the Turkish border.
Sumaya Ghulami was one of Afghanistan's heroes of the recent South Asian Games.
She's the first Afghan woman to win a gold medal in Taekwondo at the competition. She says she is competing for her country, her family and for Afghan women. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Uzbek President Islam Karimov has gone off script once again -- this time telling officials about the impossibility of restricting the Internet despite the country’s frequent censorship practices.
What's it like to have violent extremists as neighbors? Villagers in Karkamis, southeastern Turkey, live within arm's reach of the Syrian border -- and territory held by the Islamic State militant group.
On December 10, 2015, France’s parliament passed a law banning supermarkets from wasting food. Meanwhile in Russia, bans on many Western imports mean food continues to be destroyed by the ton.
The decline in global oil prices has led to a sharp decrease in the value of the Azerbaijani manat. Now, Baku must find new ways to cut costs.
Demonstrators stood off with riot police in the southern Kazakh village of Buryl, demanding justice after the killing of a 5-year-old boy. The suspect in the killing is a Meskhetian Turk, and the case has reportedly sparked reprisal attacks against other members of the minority.
Awkwardness ensued as Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev toured a new French-owned supermarket in the country's biggest city, Almaty.
Villagers in Karkamis, southeastern Turkey, can see the flags flown by the Islamic State militant group just across the border in Syria. A newly built wall separates them from extremist-held territory, but not from the rockets that land in their village. (Shahida Yakub, RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
The Republic of Kosovo marked the eighth anniversary of its declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17. Marching bands led a parade in the capital, Pristina. In 2008, Kosovo declared itself a sovereign country, nearly a decade after fighting a war with Belgrade in the late 1990s.
Kosovo's independence monument has a new look for 2016. The three meter-high letters spelling out the word NEWBORN were installed in Pristina in 2008, and have been redesigned each year. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Some residents of Pisky and other neighboring villages in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine have moved to the nearby village of Pervomaysk for the winter. Some stay in once-abandoned but still livable dwellings there.
To save money, Baku has turned off public lighting at night. The capital of Azerbaijan has often promoted itself to tourists as the "Bright Lights of Baku." But the recent economic crisis and the dive in oil prices have forced the country to tighten its purse strings. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
A 1785 collaboration between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his legendary rival composer Antonio Salieri has been performed in Prague. Long thought to have been lost, it was discovered last year in the archives of the Czech National Music Museum.
Stas Baretsky is known for going on the warpath against Western goods. This time, he hits the road to block trucks he suspects of carrying banned imports into Russia.
How do the wealthiest citizens of post-Soviet countries keep their money safe? For some, it's simple: just buy a palatial home in London. To show the public how it's done, anticorruption campaigners took journalists on a "Kleptocracy Tour" of London residences owned by foreign oligarchs.
The town of Azaz in northern Syria has been battered from multiple sides. Turkish forces have targeted the town from across the border in recent days, while air strikes, suspected to be Russian, caused widespread damage. Across the border in Kilis, Turkey, a small hospital is struggling to cope.
Afghan troops have completed an operation against militants linked to the Islamic State extremist group in Nangarhar Province. The Defense Ministry said that troops killed more than 40 militants during the three-day operation in Achin district. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Students and staff returned to Pakistan's Bacha Khan University amid very tight security, less than a month after a militant attack that killed 22 people. Those entering the campus near Peshawar had to cross through a column of armed guards and metal detectors, as the university reopened.
Skiers in search of the next challenge might want to consider a place that is unlikely to come to mind: Afghanistan. Locals -- including women in this traditionally conservative country -- have already been drawn to the frozen fun on the slopes of Bamiyan. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
In the latest uptick in violence in eastern Ukraine, heavy weapons fire was heard early on February 13 near the Maryinka checkpoint, west of the city of Donetsk. Amid the rising tensions, Ukrainian government troops near the Black Sea coast conducted heavy military drills.
A group of independent Kazakh filmmakers and activists have launched their own YouTube channel to showcase their work. Partyzan TV launched in the city of Almaty on February 11 with the uploading of the internationally-renowned film, The Owners. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Kabul's airport hosted Afghanistan's military airshow on February 11. President Ashraf Ghani joined high-ranking U.S. officers and other defense officials at the event which showcased the country's new light attack aircraft, the A-29 (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan).
This Kazakh town’s road is all signs and no asphalt.
The settlement built for construction workers on a hydroelectric project in Kyrgyzstan is now a ghost town. The workers departed soon after the project was abandoned last month. But the locals are hoping the Russians will soon be back. (Zhibek Byegaliyevoy for RFE/RL's Current Time).
For these people seeking a new life in the European Union, this Belgrade bus shelter is home, for now at least. Classified as economic migrants, these men from countries in Africa and Asia have been stranded for months in Serbia, the last stop before the border of the EU. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Each year dozens of children in Afghanistan are sold into slavery or even worse fates. Their families, usually very poor, hand them over to smugglers in exchange for the promise of cash.
The city of Moscow demolished dozens of trading stalls, kiosks, and cafes in a blitz of bulldozers on February 9. A city lawmaker estimated that the demolitions could cause 15,000 people to lose their jobs.
A Georgian NGO, Human Rights Center, has asked for government support for the preservation of places of worship of minority groups in the country's south, where a Muslim community and a tiny Jewish minority live. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Tanks and army trucks were lined up on the highways of Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula on February 9, a day after the start of large-scale Russian military exercises in the region. (RFE/RL's Crimean unit)
The city of Moscow demolished dozens of trading stalls, kiosks, and cafes in a blitz of bulldozers on February 9. Heavy equipment began tearing down about 100 buildings, which Moscow city authorities had deemed illegal.
Afghanistan's government is making an active effort to train female police officers, creating a more balanced force that can better serve Afghan women. What is life on the force like for these female recruits? (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
A doctors' strike in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar brought hospitals to a near standstill.
Doctors still were seeing patients who needed treatment -- but in tents outside the city's main hospital. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
As the seasons change, hundreds of thousands of nomads move with their families and livestock back and forth across Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. In an area already ravaged by war and poverty, the Kuchis are living the kind of hard life that much of the world has long forgotten.
In the Czech capital, Prague, volunteers cleaned up the day after the firebombing of a building where clothes and other help for refugees are gathered. The attack, by a group of around 20 masked men, followed a day of protests by far-right groups against Muslims and immigration.
There’s been an outpouring of sympathy for Ghani Baba, the man who carries 100 kilograms of flour 1 kilometer on his back every day in Peshawar, Pakistan. What’s being done to help Ghani Baba?
Forget Buckingham Palace and Big Ben -- London's newest bus tour shows visitors the palatial homes of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
Residents of Bograd, a small town in southeastern Siberia, have lost their fight to save the local maternity ward, declared "unprofitable" by health authorities. Pregnant women from Bograd and surrounding villages will now have to travel up to 150 kilometers to give birth.
Ukrainian activists protested in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kyiv with banners warning: "Don't listen to Russian propaganda." The protesters displayed a famous self-portrait of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh with one bandaged ear, repurposing the image.
Syed Abdul Ghani treks a kilometer every day with 100 kilograms of flour on his back. He earns just 300 Pakistani rupees ($3) from selling the flour to a bakery in his native Peshawar. He's been making the trip every day for the past 25 years in order to provide for his family.
From the Silk Road to the center of Europe: Ancient works from Afghanistan's pre-Islamic past have gone on display in the Czech capital, Prague. A major archaeological dig near Kabul uncovered a significant trove of artifacts, and they are helping Europeans understand more of Afghanistan's past.
In an abandoned zoo in Gyumri, Armenia, forgotten animals wallow in despair. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Across Central Asia, horsemen compete in a rugged game in which they grapple over a goat's carcass and try to drag it toward a goal. In Kyrgyzstan, the sport is known as kok-boru, and it's enjoying a nationwide revival. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Lithuania is no longer at the mercy of Moscow, thanks to a liquefied natural gas terminal it has developed.
Rarely do Russians see or hear very much about Vladimir Putin's family life. Once in a while there will be revelations -- about his alleged great wealth, the activities of his children, and even his romantic life.
Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Aslov has said reporters from Kremlin-funded media outlet RT, formerly known as Russia Today, have not been given permission to operate in his country. RT has been trying to open a bureau in Dushanbe since 2014.
Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski has called on the European Union to maintain political pressure on Belarus's authoritarian regime.
In the Ukrainian village of Zaytseve, 11-year-old Edik has to cross military checkpoints and enter separatist territory just to go to school. It's a dangerous trip, so Edik and other schoolchildren have stopped going to class, and instead do their schoolwork at home.
Kyrgyz authorities began destroying license plates designated for members of parliament and other high-ranking government officials. Parliament decided to revoke special license plates for top officials because of cases of drivers abusing their privileges and violating traffic rules.
Health-care workers in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar went on a one-day strike, bringing chaos for many patients at local hospitals. Doctors, paramedics and nurses agreed to strike after the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced reforms to the health-care system.
Pakistan International Airlines canceled all domestic and international flights, as the national carrier’s employees continued their strike for a second day. Workers held a sit-in protest against the government's planned privatization of the airline. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
In Tajikistan, medical professionals warn that marriages between close relatives are a common cause of birth defects. To reduce future cases of congenital disabilities, Tajik lawmakers have approved a new requirement for couples planning to marry -- a genetic test.
Anatol Matasaru is a civil rights activist who was charged with hooliganism for an unconventional protest outside of Moldova’s National Anticorruption Center.
At least two workers of Pakistan International Airlines were killed and several others wounded after security forces allegedly opened fire on protesting employees of the national carrier at Karachi airport. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has voiced concern over the prospects for a Syria peace deal emerging from talks in Geneva. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said hopes for peace were complicated by the fact that President Bashar al-Assad had been strengthened by Russia's intervention.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has said there is a lack of international resolve to ensure Iran sticks to the deal on its nuclear program. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said Iran had violated UN resolutions relating to ballistic missile testing but there had been no "pushback."
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has said that revelations of Russian President Vladimir Putin's huge personal wealth are destabilizing for Russia. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said increasing numbers of Russians understood that Putin had amassed this wealth while in office.
Afghan football authorities are trying to arrange a meeting between a 5-year-old boy and Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi, after photos of the boy in a homemade Messi shirt went viral. He spoke exclusively to RFE/RL during a visit to the Afghan national stadium in Kabul.
Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov took on some local enthusiasts in the southeastern Serbian village of Merosina, as part of a visit as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. First, a quick game in the village square... (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Afghan security forces cordoned off an area near a police station after a suspected suicide bombing in Kabul. At least nine people were killed and many others were wounded. (RFE/RL's Radio Azadi)
At last week's congress of Kazakhstan's ruling party, long-time President Nursultan Nazarbaev received praise so effusive, it was reminiscent of accolades accorded to the leader of North Korea. Here's a sampling of the tributes put together by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service.
A little boy sparked an international media hunt after a picture of him wearing a Lionel Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag went viral. We tracked down 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi to his home in eastern Afghanistan and paid him a visit.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has opened an exhibition featuring portraits of people who Kyiv says have been illegally detained by Russia, such as filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and pilot Nadia Savchenko. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Police in Kosovska Mitrovica said around 500 people took part in a demonstration after an international court found a prominent Kosovo Serb politician guilty of war crimes charges. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Iran has spent the week showing various forms of the country's military capabilities. On January 29, Iran's state television and the Tasnim News Agency published footage which purportedly shows an Iranian naval drone tracking a U.S. aircraft carrier, after three days of major naval exercises.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama says liberal democracies have had to restore greater regulation of capital markets.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama predicts the Islamic State (IS) extremist group will fail to establish a viable state.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama says the energy-dependent economic model established by Russian President Vladimir Putin is 'falling apart'.
Schoolchildren in Russia's Ural region are being fed propaganda in their classrooms. The lessons include a discredited tale about gruesome atrocities carried out by the Ukrainian Army.
A pro-Kremlin art group called Glavplakat this week hung a huge banner of Barack Obama opposite the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with the slogan "Killer" -- a protest against U.S. military involvement in Syria.
Just a wild sheep playing soccer. (And he saved the life of his female goat friend, too.) (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has survived a confidence vote over his country's invitation to join NATO. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
She is a teacher bringing education to some of Pakistan's most vulnerable children. Thousands of kids live in the slums of the country's capital, Islamabad, without any access to education. But one woman, Chand Bibi, is on a courageous mission to change that. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Serbian photojournalists destroyed their own prints in protest against government proposals to remove copyright protection from their work. Critics say it's an attack on media freedom. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Shahid Afridi, the captain of Pakistan's Twenty20 cricket team, visited the school where 144 people were killed in a Taliban attack in 2014. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Supporters of Armenian opposition activist Gevorg Safarian protested in Yerevan after an appeals court ruled he must remain in pretrial detention for two months. He was arrested with four others on New Year's Eve as they tried to place a Christmas tree in Yerevan's Liberty Square. (RFE/RL's Armenian
Isolated and without water or gas, 80-year-old Antonina Prokofyevna has found an unusual companion to stave off loneliness amid the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
A protest erupted in a courtroom in Minsk, as three graffiti artists went on trial for painting political slogans on buildings. A supporter in the court shouted “No to political repression", "Art is not a crime”, and "This is not a trial, but a circus!" (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)
In Afghanistan, impoverished boys are being forced into a life of abuse as a result of bacha bazi -- dancing boys -- an old practice that sees wealthy or powerful men exploit underage boys as sexual partners.
Market traders are starting to repair their damaged shops in Bara, Pakistan, seven years after many were destroyed in clashes with Islamic militants. Government officials said that the Bara Bazaar near Peshawar can reopen on February 1. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has made a number of threatening statements against liberal politicians, activists, and journalists in Russia.
RFE/RL's Russian Service reporter Svyatoslav Leontev asked Muscovites what they think of Kadyrov.
Heavy security surrounded the reopening of Pakistan's Bacha Khan University, nearly a week after a deadly attack there by militants. The campus in the northwestern district of Charsadda, near Peshawar, was closed after 21 students and staff were killed on January 20. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Police carried Vardges Gaspari to a court house in Yerevan to face trial for insulting a police officer. Gaspari is a veteran activist who regularly lies down to protest against government policy, or in this case, the criminal justice system. (RFE/RL's Armenia Service)
When called upon, a huge number of people turned up in Grozny on January 22 to show their support for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The demonstration came after Kadyrov and his allies made a string of hostile statements against liberal politicians, activists, and journalists in Russia that were met
Difficult conditions are getting even worse at the refugee reception center in the southern Serbian town of Presevo due to the onset of cold winter weather.(RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Imprisoned RFE/RL contributor Khadija Islayilova has accepted prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney as her legal representative. In a statement she praised Clooney's "courage" in the case of a jailed Egyptian journalist in 2014.
A British public inquiry has concluded President Vladimir Putin “probably” approved the poisoning death of Kremlin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006.
A decade-and-a-half after the end of Taliban rule, women in Afghanistan still face pressure to dress conservatively in their Muslim-dominated society. And that makes holding a fashion show with female models a risky endeavor.
Olga Lyekhtona wages a tireless campaign to maintain a makeshift shrine on the bridge in central Moscow where opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed in February 2015. City authorities have rejected plans for an official monument on the spot.
Militants launched an assault on a university campus in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people, including students and staff. The aftermath inside the school showed the extent of the extent of the attack's devastation. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal and VOA)
Imprisoned RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova is considering an offer of legal representation by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. The wife of Hollywood star George Clooney previously has taken on prominent cases in Egypt, Armenia and the Maldives.
A student caught up in the carnage, and an emergency rescue worker aiding the victims, spoke to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal about the attacks on the Bacha Khan University in Northwestern Pakistan on January 20. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Mortgage holders held a protest outside of major banks in the Kazakh city of Almaty. They called for a recalculation of their loans, amid the recent economic crisis. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Human rights campaigners in Afghanistan are demanding justice for 20-year-old Reza Gul. After her husband beat her, he cut off her nose. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
A Kyrgyz police officer has produced a video, which he is showing to teenagers in schools, as part of efforts to fight recruitment by Islamic State militants. Colonel Zhanibek Isayev mined the internet for shocking images from Syria, which sometimes move the children to tears.
The two-level Bab-e-Peshawar (Door To Peshawar) Bridge opened on January 18 in northwestern Pakistan. It cost 1.7 billion Pakistani rupees ($16 million) to build and was completed in record time. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Four-nation talks aimed at establishing a peace process with the Taliban in Afghanistan have begun, with the Afghan and Pakistani foreign ministers, along with diplomats and military officials from the United States and China, meeting in Kabul. (Radio Free Afghanistan)
Azerbaijan deployed security forces in the northeastern district of Quba on January 15, amid national unrest over worsening economic conditions. Camera phone video shows security forces moving against the protesters. (RFE/RL's Radio Azerbaijani Service/UGC video)
Winter on Fire, a documentary about Ukraine's 2013-14 upheaval that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, has been nominated for this year's Oscars. The film tells the story of the "Maidan" protests through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy and other participants.
Southern Kyrgyzstan is dotted with small coal mines that operate without official permission or regulation. These illegal mines pay their workers an above-average wage -- at the cost of risking life and limb. (Jibek Begalieva, RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Artisans showed off their works in the Pakistani northwestern city of Peshawar. The three-day cultural and handicrafts exhibition included a live demonstration of pottery making. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A district court in Bishkek ruled that a decision by Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission to strip two members of parliament of their mandates was illegal. Elmira Jumalieva and Cholpon Esenamanova's mandates were canceled by the commission on January 11. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyzstan Service)
An eclectic array of fancy dress costumes and masks were on display, as Ukrainians celebrated New Year according to the Julian calendar in the Bukovyna region, bordering Romania. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Some Ukrainian refugees will have to leave Russia by February 1, under new rules imposed last autumn. It's not clear how many people need to pack their bags.
People on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, have reacted to nationwide protests which erupted following the collapse of the country's currency, the manat.
Students from around the world are preparing to compete in the Shell Eco Marathon, the energy company's annual fuel efficiency contest. For those from Pakistan's Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, it's a long road to their competition in Manila. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
U.S. citizens adopted tens of thousands of children from Russian orphanages after the Soviet collapse. But in 2012, Moscow banned Americans from adopting Russian kids with a law passed in retaliation for economic sanctions. What impact has the ban had on children in need of homes?
A local politician in Karachi has launched an unorthodox campaign to rid the Pakistani city from a plague of potholes. Alamgir Khan has taken to spray-painting the image of the provincial leader's face on the city's treacherous roads, demanding that the government fix them. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Protesters for and against the naming of controversial businessman Vlad Plahotniuc as the next prime minister faced off in the capital Chisinau. Later in the day President Nicolae Timofti refused to name Plahotnuic, saying he did not meet his criteria for integrity. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Security forces moved in to deal with protests across Azerbaijan, following the collapse of the country's currency, the manat -- which has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in recent days. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Protesters for and against the naming of controversial oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc as the next prime minister of Moldova faced off in the capital Chisinau. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Seven members of Afghan national security forces were killed along with three Islamic militants in an attack on a government guest house in the eastern city of Jalalabad. (RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan)
At least 14 people were killed in a blast that appeared to target police outside a polio vaccination center in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta. Officials at the scene said that 13 of the dead were police officers. Taliban militants claimed responsibility. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
The flow of migrants across the Balkans continued, with around a thousand people crossing from Greece to Macedonia on January 12. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Blizzards and high winds caused power cuts and traffic jams in Belarus, with the heaviest snowfall reported in the capital, Minsk. (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)
Miners blocked a main road in western Ukraine in protest at unpaid salaries. The men said they were owed money from the November and December pay packets. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
In an interview with the German magazine Bild, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in spite of falling oil prices and Western sanctions, the Russian economy is showing signs of improvement. But some Moscow residents say they have yet to see any positive change. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
The Soviet crackdown following Lithuania's declaration of independence culminated on January 13, 1991. Lithuanian leader Vytautas Landsbergis discussed the historical turning point and new regional threats in our special interview series with 12 post-Soviet leaders, "Russia & Me."
Altai, a Russian bear, just met Gul, a Tajik bear, at a zoo in the Czech Republic. Now the duo can’t be apart.
This year, Pakistan will enter a global contest for building fuel efficient cars. For students from a northwest institute, there is still a long road ahead to overtake the favorites. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A typical evening's shopping at Bishkek's Frunze supermarket in early December suddenly turned into a cultural event with the appearance of an opera flash mob. People who seemed to be average shoppers and store employees suddenly burst into song, regaling store patrons with a piece from Verdi's oper
The village of Zaytseve, near Horlivka in eastern Ukraine, is split down the middle by checkpoints and armed forces. Some children are separated from their school by the front lines, so they study and play at home, confined by the conditions of war.
A shocking video which appears to show plainclothes policemen beating up a transvestite has gone viral in Uzbekistan. But the public response has only highlighted homophobic attitudes in Uzbek society. (UGC)
Orthodox Christians enjoyed Christmas celebrations around the world on January 6. From Bosnia to Tatarstan, they marked the holiday in different and colorful ways. (RFE/RL Balkan, Gerogian and Tatar-Bashkir Services)
A video that apparently shows plainclothes policemen beating up a transvestite has gone viral in Uzbekistan. But the response to the video points to widespread intolerance in Uzbek society: instead of outrage, most comments on the video are in support of the violence.
Hundreds of former government employees marched on the Afghan parliament in Kabul to demand their jobs back. They were laid off when the country's electronic voter ID card scheme was suspended. (RFE/RL'S Radio Free Afghanistan)
In an interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service in Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia is working to maintain good relations with Russia while it moves toward its goal of European integration.
In an interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service in Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic discussed the normalization of relations with Kosovo, saying that Serbia is bracing itself for crucial but difficult talks.
A controversial plan to demolish a historic minaret in the Uzbek city of Andijon has been canceled.
A video of Bakitbek Sakiev hanging on to the hood of a speeding car earned him the nickname Spiderman. But this Kyrgyz policeman is known for more than his death-defying stunts. He's also regarded as an incorruptible officer in a country where police corruption is widespread.
A winter snowfall hampered residents of Sarajevo going about their business, and a lingering smog had many gasping for air. Fog mixed with pollution hit the Bosnian capital again on January 5, forcing many people back indoors. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Video released by activists in Armenia show police forcefully stopping them from placing a Christmas tree on Yerevan's Liberty Square on New Year's Eve. One of the activists of the New Armenia Public Salvation Front, Gevorg Safaryan, was charged with resisting arrest.
Shi'ite groups in Pakistan added their voices to protests around the world against Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Karachi and chanted death to the Saudi royal family. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Putin In A Bottle: Russian President inspires a new fragrance.
Afghan troops and Indian security forces fought gunmen near the Indian Consulate in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. At least two militants barricaded themselves inside a residential building near the consulate on January 4, a day after the fighting began. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
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